Three Basic Economic Questions The needs and wants of individuals, families, businesses, and nations for goods and services are unlimited. The resources to satisfy these needs and wants are limited; therefore, every nation is faced with answering these questions.
Three Basic Economic Questions What goods and services will be produced? Who will be responsible for producing the goods and services? How will the goods and services be distributed to consumers?
Three Basic Economic Questions There is no absolute correct way of allocating scarce resources. A particular method might prove to be ideal in one situation but less satisfactory in other situations. Each nation must select an economic system to allocate resources. There are three basic economic systems: traditional, command, and market.
Traditional Economic Systems In a traditional economic system, economic decisions are based on a society’s customs, culture, and way of life. Hunting, farming, gathering, and making things by hand are the methods used to meet the people’s needs under this system. Tradition assumes that things do not change, and if it worked well in the past, it will work as well in the future.
Command Economic System In a command economic system, the government makes economic decisions. The government owns most of the industries. In a command economy, it is important for producers to meet the government’s assigned production quotas, which are the amounts of goods and services to produce. Prices are set by the government and do not change according to supply and demand.
Market Economic System The market economic system is the method used in the United States. In our “free market system,” consumers and producers decide what to produce, how much to produce, and the worth of goods and services.
Market Economic System Entrepreneurs or business owners seeing an opportunity for profits will produce and market goods and services. If entrepreneurs do a good job in anticipating the desires of the consumers, then they will make profits. If the entrepreneurs do a poor job, there will be a loss in profit.